BPA (Bisphenol-A) in cans and plastics: The health effects of hormone disruptors.
How BPA gets into your body.
There's a common belief that BPA exposure is minimal. That the amounts we take in are so small that the effects will be little or none. This couldn't be farther from the truth. How many people do you know who've struggled with thyroid issues, obesity, cancer, reproductive or behavioral issues? We are exposed to thousands of xenoestrogens every day. BPA gets into the human body starting at birth. Only recently has BPA been banned for use in baby bottles. Some other culprits include:
- Canned foods - especially tomoatoes! (the lining of the can is a BPA-based plastic, see the video below)
- Through the skin, where it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream (receipts, cash, personal care items)
- From microwaving or heating clear plastic containers, it leeches into food
- From bottled water and bottled drinks
- From beer cans, and other canned beverages like RedBull, V8, etc.
- From handling cash and printed currency, which is printed with BPA
Again, I realize that the mindset surrounding chemical exposure has been "the amounts are so small, why worry?" but this is simply not true. If you consider your exposure to one chemical or xenoestrogen, then look at just how many you are exposed to in one day it becomes apparent that you've got to take control.
The bottom line is this: We are all exposed to these chemicals every day, no matter what. Making safer choices each day, and being aware of how to avoid most exposure is key. There's really no way to avoid every single source of chemical exposure, while maintaining sanity. The point of this article is to help you become aware of the worst offenders, so that you can reduce your risk of health concerns.
BPA, typically found in the lining of cans.
But isn't the amount so small that it's harmless?
If you believe that the amounts of BPA getting into your system are minuscule, think again. BPA can wreak havoc on the reproductive system even at low levels. It's linked to breast, colon and testicular cancer, among others. Are the alarm bells going off yet? Here's a list of medical issues that have been linked to BPA consumption:
- Neurological Disorders
- Thyroid Dysfuncion
- Triggering of early puberty
- Sexual and reproductive issues
- Low sperm count
- Heart disease
- Brain tumors
The FDA wants us to continue to believe that these products are safe. Please view the videos below to fully understand how the studies can be biased, especially when the studies are funded by plastic companies. If we want these practices to change we must act.
BPA Levels in common foods.
What can we do?
I don't expect you to go picket at the FDA headquarters. I don't have time for that, and I know you don't, either. Here are some things that you CAN do:
- Reuse GLASS JARS. They are wonderful - but be sure you check the lid!
- Use glass containers in the microwave (if you still use that awful device!)
- Avoid canned foods, especially tomatoes.
- DO NOT put BPA receipts in your recycle bin and handle them as quickly as possible.
- Support companies who promote BPA-free products
- Pull your dollars from companies who willingly poison us. SPEND WISELY.
- PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MIND IS.
Estrogen in your beer?
Do what you can.
As much as I blog about health and nutrition I also practice "give yourself a break"! It really can feel overwhelming, and attempting to avoid every toxic chemical truly is impossible. These chemicals are in the water supply, they're in bottled water. None of us are made of money, and none of us have unlimited resources.
There are small, simple things you can do each day to avoid toxic overload. Go easy on yourself, and do what you can. Share what you know. Write some hubs of your own, it's a great way to learn! While I know many of these subjects like the back of my hand, each time I hub I dig a little deeper and my view broadens.
I have nothing to gain by sharing this information - except to know that someone out there is looking for it. Probably someone who is battling cancer, or who has lost someone to cancer. Possibly someone who is dealing with a health issue and getting vague answers from the medical community. This is the age of information. We've got to help one another, because the FDA is not looking out for you (or me!).
Stay healthy! Support local. Put your money where your mind is, no matter how little you make. Your dollars are your votes.